aspect ratios redux

Oksana Dykyj (
Tue, 31 Mar 1998 11:04:17 +0000 (HELP)

I beg your indulgence on this, but I just had to find the quote in which
Godard claimed to LIKE cinemascope, and I have:

"I also discovered 'scope with A WOMAN IS A WOMAN. I believe that that's a
normal format and that 1.33 ia an arbitrary ratio. You can shoot everything
in 'scope. Not in 1.33, but it is extraordinary. 1.66 is nothing at all. I
don't like intermediate ratios... On the other hand, I regret not having
used 'scope for BREATHLESS. That's my only regret."

This from an interview in Cahiers du cinema reprinted in
Toby Mussman, ed. _Jean Luc Godard: A critical Anthology_. New York: E.P.
Dutton, 1968.
All this quote means is that one day he hated scope and the next he liked
it, and then possibly hated it again...

Another point: Directors are not always the most reliable sources of
information about their own films. They occasionally have lapses in memory
and sometimes propagate the same mistaken myths as the decades-old yarn spun
by their old press agents. Researchers beware...

Oksana Dykyj
Head, Visual Media Resources
Instructional & Information Technology Service H-342
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West Tel: 514-848-3443
Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8 Fax: 514-848-3441